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Author Topic: Struggling with Logical Reasoning  (Read 8616 times)

rcatmullnv

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Struggling with Logical Reasoning
« on: May 22, 2011, 09:11:57 PM »
I'm taking the LSAT in ~2 weeks and am trying to squeeze a couple of more points out of the test.  I've taken 11 practice exams so far. I originally was scoring a 158 but am now in the mid-160s range (my last score, and highest, was a 165 on Test #42.  I've read all of the PowerScore Bibles but have not taken any LSAT prep courses.  Ideally, I'd like to get around a 170, if not better. 

My biggest problem child is Logical Reasoning. While I'm only missing up to 4 questions on each section of Reading Comprehension or Logic Games (sometimes I only miss 1, 2, or don't miss any at all), I've consistently missed at least 10 questions between the two Logical Reasoning sections.  Parallel reasoning and assumption questions seem to be my biggest issue. Do you guys have any general tips for the Logical Reasoning sections? Or perhaps some more specific advice for the 2 question types mentioned?

At this point, what would you guys recommend I do? I purchased Kaplan's Logical Reasoning course, but have not completed it because I've not been convinced after completing almost 2/6 sessions (not completing the 2nd yet so I stay within refund range). If anyone has experience completing this course, would you suggest I finish it? Perhaps I would benefit more from a tutor at this point? Or should I continue taking as many practice tests at possible (taking 2 a day for these last two weeks) and try and learn from the explanations?

Any help is hugely appreciated! And if anyone is in the Las Vegas area and wants to tutor, let me know  :D. Thanks guys

John1990

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Re: Struggling with Logical Reasoning
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 11:25:06 PM »
Personally taking two tests a day is too much for me, after two days of that im exhausted and bored with the exam.  I usually start to see my scores dip and then after a day off return to where i was or see a small improvement. 
If you want to become better at a certain question type it is good to focus on those questions, so you might want to go back and clip out those questions that you struggled on and study how they work.  Otherwise you could be spending a lot of your study time doing what you already know and very little time actually hitting your weak spots.

HYSHopeful

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Re: Struggling with Logical Reasoning
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 02:17:38 AM »
I would review the Logical Reasoning Bible, paying particular attention to the LR question types that you are having the most difficulty with.

Instead of working through 2 full preptests each day, try working through 1 full preptest and then working through additional LR sections.

Carefully review the questions that you miss (especially the question types that you are prone to missing) and make sure that you understand (a) why the correct answer is correct, (b) why you selected the incorrect answer (timing? reading error? reasoning error?).

When you figure out where you went wrong, keep a log & make a note to yourself. Writing things down and really thinking through why you are making errors will help you to avoid similar errors in the future.

Try and improve your Logical Reasoning Timing by understanding how the section flows and by drilling LR sections.

PreProBono

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Re: Struggling with Logical Reasoning
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 04:40:17 PM »
Hi rcatmullnv!

If you have time review the logical reasoning section of the curiculum we posted on our website :http://preprobono.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/the-curriculum/#more-705. Here you will find helpful steps and examples on how to approach the questions.  You are welcome to message us privately if you have any comments or questions.

Good luck!

-PreProBono

totaltest.milan

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Re: Struggling with Logical Reasoning
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2011, 05:40:47 PM »
Ok, first the obvious: 

unless you absolutely have to don't take the test in June.

One thing I emphasize to all my students is that the LSAT is a skills/performance test, not a knowledge test.  As with any other skill the only way to improve is through practice.  If you put in enough intelligent practice you'll definitely do better.  The key word there is enough.  That varies from person to person but is generally measured in months not weeks.  Judging from what you said, that you've only taken 11 practice tests, that's not nearly enough to reach your potential.  An optimal approach is one where you isolate and practice the different question types for each of the sections enough that you feel comfortable with the correct approach for each one, then isolate and do the sections so that you're comfortable with the sections, then do a group of tests with no time constraints, and finally have about 20-30 tests that you do under actual test conditions.

That being said, if you're committed to the June date and want to improve your logical reasoning score I'd recommend seeing which question types are giving you a hard time (if there are any others in addition to the ones you mentioned) and isolating and practicing those.  Find an approach for them that yields good results, figure out why correct answers are correct and incorrect answers incorrect, and see if there's anything in particular that's causing you to get them wrong.  Once you get comfortable with them then go back to doing full tests. 

The basic approach to the arguments section is to have a very good understanding of what the premises and conclusion are (what exactly the argument's saying) before you go on to the choices.  Judging by your error distribution (ie you're doing well on the reading comp) my guess is you're doing ok with that and the problem is most likely the specific types you mentioned plus the more difficult arguments questions that come towards the end of the passage and for which it doesn't seem to make sense why the correct choice is correct.  Because of space constraints there isn't much that any of us tutors could write here regarding doing the assumption or parallel reasoning that isn't in the various prep materials out there.  Obviously I recommend taking a look at my site: lsat.totaltestprep.net, I have over 15 hours of video for the arguments section alone.  In addition, the powerscore logical reasoning bible is pretty comprehensive and useful. 

That's my .02, the other posts have good info so hopefully we've managed to help you a bit.